Focusing on Rehabilitation at the Bridgeport Correctional Center

With substance abuse being a major factor in crimes committed by an estimated 85 percent of the U.S. prison population, MTC-operated correctional facilities strive to address the reality of addiction and substance abuse among the residents we serve.

At the Bridgeport Correctional Center, one of the many programs offered is Celebrate Recovery. Linda Thomas is the former warden of the facility.

“I think it really brings the impact to their life,” she says. “And this is a short-term facility, so in order to really make a great impact, I think they have to deal with the problem at hand.”

Through assistance by staff and volunteers, this faith-based program is largely led by fellow residents.

“So having it inmate-led,” Warden Thomas says, “they know that they understand the process and how to really make it effective.”

Bridgeport Celebrate Recovery Still
Celebrate Recovery class.

Clifton Carpenter is a resident leader of the program.

“Somebody can be talking about something, and I say, ‘Man, I went through the same thing,’” Clifton says. “So, listening to them helps me open up even more. It will help you recognize your strongholds that have led you to an addiction, help you break those strongholds. It’s helped me tremendously.

“Just one thing, helping other people, you know, just doing something good. It makes you feel good,” he continues. “But seeing that you have a relationship with somebody that you’ve never even met before. You have something in common. It helps you bond.”

Bridgeport Celebrate Recovery Still
Clifton Carpenter, resident.

Stephen LeBlanc is a participant in the program.

“It’s really refreshing to get back to where I was before I fell off again,” he says. “I’m just grateful, just grateful to be here and grateful for the warden and for the staff that allows us to do these things. Bridgeport is really amazing with the different programs they have. We have classes that you wouldn’t think you would have in a prison.

“This is not like prison, this is kind of like a rehab altogether,” says Stephen.

Bridgeport Celebrate Recovery Still
Stephen LeBlanc (left) and fellow residents.